Margarita, 23, and Abraham, 25, were on the brink of divorce.
They had moved from working long hours in a textile shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, back to their mountaintop hometown of Chuma, Bolivia, to simplify their lives and spend more time with their daughters, Noelia, 5, and Karen, 3.
But when Abraham wasn’t able to find a new job, tensions rose. The couple had been considering divorce when Samaritan’s Purse representatives began to visit their home after Abraham had inquired about the Samaritan’s Purse agriculture project in Chuma.
“At first, they would hardly talk at all, especially to each other,” said Julio Huanca, a Samaritan’s Purse technician in Bolivia. “They were very distant.”
When Abraham and Margarita weren’t giving each other the silent treatment, they were arguing, said the normally soft-spoken Margarita. The high school sweethearts had turned on each other instead of turning to one another for encouragement and support.
“We were always worried,” Abraham said. “‘How can we sustain our lives here? How can we take care of our daughters?’”
Julio and fellow Samaritan’s Purse representative Virginia Lozano from La Paz, Bolivia, gave Abraham and Margarita each a Bible, marking Psalm 23 in each one.
Virginia began to read the psalm to the couple each time they met together in their home.
“I always tell them, ‘The Lord is your Shepherd,’” Virginia said.
Abraham and Margarita began attending local Samaritan’s Purse project meetings. He learned about the agricultural program, and she learned about projects geared toward women and children.
Abraham now helps Samaritan’s Purse install ventilated ovens like the one in their home for other Chuma families and educates them about their use. Margarita has become a leader in local Samaritan’s Purse training sessions to promote maternal and child health. As part of that, she teaches the women how to bake in their new, improved ovens.
“I never thought I would have a kitchen like this, with a stove, an oven, a counter, that I could make so many things to feed my family,” Margarita said. “Before, we used rocks to start a fire to cook with. It’s healthier this way, not to have as much smoke inside that you’re breathing.”
Samaritan’s Purse also helped Abraham and Margarita establish a home garden and introduce more fruits and vegetables into the family’s diet.
“Because of Samaritan’s Purse, I know better how to grow produce,” Abraham said. “I’m so thankful for the care you’ve taken with us. What’s important to me is that you didn’t just give us gifts—we learned from you, and you taught us to share our knowledge with others as well.”
Samaritan’s Purse built a chicken coop next to their home and gave the couple 10 chickens to raise for eggs. Abraham and Margarita purchased 10 more chickens so they could sell some of the eggs as an income source in addition to raising their own food.
“We are happier now because we trust each other,” Abraham said. “We’re always looking at the Bible now, reading the Word together. Thanks to Julio, he helped us reflect on what we were doing. He always shares his experience with us, what it’s like to live as a family. More than anything else, he shares with us the Word and what the Bible says about it—that’s very important to us. He comes to pray with us. Because of that, now we are doing well and are happy.”
While Julio spends time discipling Abraham, Virginia talks one-on-one with Margarita.
“We treat each other with love now, between the two of us and with our children,” Margarita said. “Thank you, Julio and Virginia, for helping us.”
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